Our company just completed a six-week physical activity challenge for our own employees. (We called it Walk the Talk.) Everyone was issued a FitBit Zip pedometer, and we formed teams to encourage a little friendly competition. From there, everyone had six weeks to log as many steps as possible. The results were pretty extraordinary:
In just six weeks, we logged almost 23.7 million steps -- the equivalent of 11,280 miles! The winning team averaged 536,214 steps.
When we design wellness challenges for our clients, we recommend rewarding everyone who participated. In our case, everyone who logged steps during all six weeks of the challenge became eligible to win an iPad Mini. Prizes were also awarded to the top-performing individuals and the team with the most steps.
So what did we learn?
Wellness challenges really do encourage healthy behaviors. Even though our employees are already a pretty healthy bunch, we definitely stepped it up a notch. (Pun intended.)
Team challenges raise morale. Every day during the challenge, I heard employees talking about which team was ahead, or how many steps someone had logged. It was huge fun, and the challenge brought employees from different departments together.
Focusing on health increases productivity. Taking a ten-minute walk during the work day doesn't waste ten minutes of productivity -- it increases productivity by clearing your mind, relieving stress, and helping you focus better when you're back at your desk. Over the past six weeks, we've all been reminded how important it is to move during the day.
Congratulations to everyone at WCS for their amazing work over the past six weeks. The challenge may officially be over, but we intend to keep stepping!